The African Champions League kicks off this weekend with former title holders Enyimba facing a tricky tie. The Nigerian side take on relatively weak and inexperienced opponents, Buffles Borgou of Benin. Enyimba, continental champions in 2003 and 2004, were expected to go far in the competition last year. But they lost at home to Real Bamako of Mali and a second leg recovery could not prevent an early exit.
Coach Kadiri Ikhana, who also coached the 2003 Champions League-winning team, believes that disastrous campaign is now behind them. He said: “I am confident that we will do better than last year and progress very far in the Champions League this time. “However, we must be careful not to underrate Buffles. The key is to prepare adequately so that we are not taken by surprise.
“There are no small teams in the Caf club competitions and we must treat our opponents seriously in order to achieve a good result. “It is a good tie for us because of the limited travel involved,” said Ikhana, referring to Benin and Nigeria being west African neighbours. Enyimba prepared for the Champions League by playing in a six-team domestic tournament as the national league has not kicked off.